Are You Claiming Abe?
And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Gal 3:29 - KJV)
Praise the Lord! What a promise! According to the above scripture I am an heir of the promise that was given to Abraham. I like what Genesis 13:2 says about Abraham, "And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold." This is a scripture that everyone can get excited about.
I don't want to put the brakes on your excitement, but I do want you to consider ALL of Abraham, and what it took for Abraham to receive the promise that we are so eager to get excited about. Consider how this whole thing got started:
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"Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee." (Gen 12:1 - KJV)
The very first thing that we must realize about Abraham receiving his promise was that he had to leave something. He had to leave his family, his home, his country. This promise of God cost him everything he had and everything he knew. Sure it was a good transaction, because the life that Abraham lived was far greater than what he would have experienced had he not responded to God. But the same could be said about you and I. What God has promised us is far greater than what we currently know.
This theme of coming out was carried on by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. Paul in a very similar style said that we must come out from the things that we know and enter into the things God has prepared for us if we are going to experience the abundance of promise given to us. If we are going to claim the promises of Abraham then we also must claim what brought the promises. To walk in the things of God requires a separation in our life.
Let's consider another aspect of Abraham's life, "And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: 20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all." (Gen 14:19-20 - KJV)
According to a study that I read one time, only about 20% of Christians tithe. Then those who do tithe, many do not tithe the way Abraham tithed or the way that God later outlined the tithe to be brought. Abraham tithed of all his increase. Many Christians do not tithe on all their increase. Instead they only tithe on their net or on some aspects of this increase. They rationalize that their net is their increase because they have no say in the taxes taken out of their check. Therefore, the amount of their check, they determine, is their increase. However, ask this same person how much money they make and they will tell you their gross pay. Have this same person go into a bank and apply for a loan and they will tell the banker their gross wages. If we really dig into the heart of the matter, many just want the promises of God without taking on any responsibility of the Word. This is why also, so many try and make the tithe just an Old Testament requirement. We want to take away the "cost" of walking with God. This is the reason that many Christians get frustrated with the promises of God. They are trying to receive what they do not qualify for.
Now let's consider a third aspect of Abraham, "And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of." (Gen 22:2 - KJV)
The third area is a real difficult one. It's called obedience. Obedience requires our following the command of God no matter what the cost. If Jesus really is Lord (supreme in authority) of our life, then we will do what He has instructed us to do. This is why Jesus said in John 14;15, if we love Him we will keep His commandments. Every time we violate the command of God it is for self gain. Sin is always some form of selfishness. When we disobey the command of God we have elevated ourselves above God's Word, which is pride that God clearly states He hates. He is not Lord of our life when we are not in obedience to His Word.
Abraham obtained the promise because he learned how to operate and follow God. There are characteristics of Abraham's life that put him in a position to receive the promise. Today, many Christians just want the promises. All of the other stuff is just a bunch of religious do's and don'ts. But that is not true because it is all the other stuff that puts us in a position to receive what God has promised.
In Deuteronomy 28 the Lord lists a bunch of blessings that can flow into our lives. I like how He starts it off, "If you will diligently hearken". Then later on in the chapter He gives all the curses that will come on a person if they don't "diligently hearken".
Galatians 3:29 is a powerful promise that every believer should hold onto. However, if we are going to claim the promises of Abraham realize that we also need to claim the characteristics of Abraham's life that positioned him to receive those promises.
Jesus paid a great price so that we could experience a great salvation here on earth. Let me encourage you to diligently hearken to everything the Word of God is telling you to do!